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  Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis. It is the commonest type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the joints wears down over a period of time. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, though it most commonly affects joints in hands, hips, knees and spine. Osteoarthritis typically affects just one joint, though in some cases, such as with finger arthritis, several joints can be affected. Osteoarthritis gradually worsens with time, and no cure exists. But osteoarthritis treatments can relieve pain and help us remain active. Taking steps to actively manage osteoarthritis may help to get control over osteoarthritis pain. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis includes pain in a joint during or after use, or after a period of inactivity, stiffness in a joint, that may be most noticeable when we wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity, swelling in some cases, grating sensation when you use the joint, tenderness in the joint on light pressure, loss of flexibility may make it difficult to use the joint, bone spurs, which appear as hard lumps, may form around the affected joint. Osteoarthritis symptoms most commonly affect the hands, hips, knees and spine. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints deteriorates over time. The smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough, causing irritation. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, you may be left with bone rubbing on bone causing the ends of your bones to become damaged and your joints to become painful. It isn't clear what causes osteoarthritis in most cases. Researchers suspect that it's a combination of factors, including being overweight, the aging process, joint injury or stress, heredity, and muscle weakness. Factors that increase your risk of osteoarthritis include old age , sex -- women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, congenital bone deformities, joint injuries such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis, obesity is another factor where carrying more body weight places more stress on the weight-bearing joints, such as knee, bone and joint diseases that increase the risk of osteoarthritis include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, Paget's disease of bone and septic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time. As many as a third of people with osteoarthritis will eventually experience significant disability. Joint pain and stiffness may become severe enough to make getting through the day difficult, if not impossible. Some people are no longer able to work. When joint pain is this severe, doctors typically suggest joint replacement surgery. For those who aren't able to undergo surgery, pain medications and assistive devices can make daily tasks more manageable.

Role of Homeopathy in Osteoarthritis:
Homeopathy has a principle of reliving the symptoms on the basis of fixed principles. The action of homeopathic medicines takes place on the law of action which is equal and opposite. Whenever homeopathic medicines are administered to a patient he experiences relief in the symptoms only if the selected remedy is similar to the patient and the disease in many aspects. The similarity is essential at the level of temperament of the patient, similarity is necessary at the level of physical constitution of the patient. The similarity is also necessary at the level of stage of disease and the remedy should be able to produce effect at a deeper level in the constitution. When such remedy is selected which is exactly similar to the patient and his illness than the selected remedy is able to give maximum relief to the patient. The stage of osteoarthritis and extent of degenerative changes in the bones will decide the outcome and treatment strategy in a case of osteoarthritis. Some cases which have not advanced in to significant damage to the structures of the joint, and restriction of movement is not very severe favorable out come may be expected. The cases in which the degenerative changes are significant curative action is not possible with homeopathy. In such conditions homeopathy offers excellent remedies which gives considerable pain control. Patients are not required to take strong pain killers whose effects last for few hours. And one can’t avoid the side effects of these pain killers. Homeopathic medicines are absolutely safe for a long time use.

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